Editor’s note: The following is from The Compassionate Friends, which offers support to parents who have experienced the death of a child.
Families grieving the deaths of children, regardless of cause or age, have an outlet in The Compassionate Friends (TCF) support group. This national nonprofit, self-help organization brings together bereaved parents, as well as grandparents and siblings, to help each other through the death of a child.
We all have different circumstances, but we’re all still dealing with the worst loss that can happen to a parent.
Relatives and friends are often not capable of providing necessary support for grieving parents because if they haven’t experienced the death of a child, they don’t understand what you’re going through completely. The shared experience of grief forges the link between group members that might be absent among family and friends.
The group leads discussion-based meetings, sometimes picking a topic or watching a movie, but usually just allowing a discussion to run its own course. The support, comfort and understanding gained through talking to someone else who has experienced the devastating death of their child is profound, and the help each receives from the other plays a very important part in living with grief, carrying our children with us in our hearts and minds. Many newly bereaved parents will come to meetings for several months without uttering a word. Just attending the meetings helps them to grow to the point where they can open up to the group. Everyone will speak who wants to, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to.
Compassionate Friends has no religious affiliation and neither discourages nor encourages members to speak about their faith. It does not collect membership dues or fees.
The group focuses on parents who have experienced the death of a child(ren), but also welcomes grandparents, siblings and friends. Participants may grieve the deaths of children of all ages from any cause. The Compassionate Friends welcomes people no matter how long ago a child died. The group believes that, with help, grief can be eased, but it also recognizes that most people do not “get over” a loved one’s death.
When your child dies, it never goes away, but you do progress. The wound heals, but the scar is always there.
The Compassionate Friends of Vernon has compiled a bereavement package designed to offer comfort and guidance as you begin to grieve the loss of your precious child. If you would like a bereavement package mailed to you, please contact Darlene at 250-558-5026 or send an e-mail to Vernon@TCFCanada.net.
Please contact Darlene at 250-558-5026 or Kelli at 1-250-379-2465 for further information about our meetings or our annual candle lighting, which is held on the second Sunday in December at Paddle Wheel Park in Vernon.